One late afternoon while sighting in my rifle I noticed a man on the other side of the gravel pit shooting a large bore black powder rifle. I had never had the opportunity to even be around a black powder weapon and I couldn’t resist going over and talking to him. His name is Jim Baichtal. This man knows more about black powder weapons and the era in history when they were used, than anyone I had ever met. His basic weapon of choice is a .50 cal. Hawkins black powder rifle. Although he owns and hunts many different variations of black powder weapons.
Everything Jim uses for his black powder hunts he hand makes himself. From the tip of a horn to measure powder, antler and rod for a short starter, even his wadding he makes from pillow coverings cutting and treating them with mink oil. Jim was gracious enough that day to not only show me all of the in and outs of his weapon. He let me shoot it too and I’m here to say, I’m hooked.
The precision of these antique rifles is astounding, three shots, open sight, no tri-pod or rests, Jim can put these in a two or three inch group at one-hundred yards. Later I found out Jim wasn’t just the library of black powder and history, I had learned he was. I found out he also carries eight or nine Boone and Crockett records with the black powder.
Jim is truly a man of the Alaskan bush. I’m proud to know him and wanted you to meet him too. If you are already a black powder enthusiast, or a hunter like me who has hunted his whole life and never shot the black powder weapons. Check our web-site often, we are currently doing a three part video on the assembly of a black powder rifle kit. Opening the box to full assembly. The first shooting and sighting. The last will be a Sitka black-tail deer hunt with our new rifle. I told you I was hooked.